Ionizable lipids in bio-inspired nanocarriers
Journal article, 2023

In applications of bio-inspired nanoparticles (NPs), their composition is often optimised by including ionizable lipids. I use a generic statistical model to describe the charge and potential distributions in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) containing such lipids. The LNP structure is considered to contain the biophase regions separated by narrow interphase boundaries with water. Ionizable lipids are uniformly distributed at the biophase–water boundaries. The potential is there described at the mean-filed level combining the Langmuir–Stern equation for ionizable lipids and the Poisson–Boltzmann equation for other charges in water. The latter equation is used outside a LNP as well. With physiologically reasonable parameters, the model predicts the scale of the potential in a LNP to be rather low, smaller or about kBT/ e, and to change primarily near the LNP-solution interface or, more precisely, inside an NP near this interface because the charge of ionizable lipids becomes rapidly neutralized along the coordinate towards the center of a LNP. The extent of dissociation-mediated neutralization of ionizable lipids along this coordinate increases but only slightly. Thus, the neutralization is primarily due to the negative and positive ions related to the ionic strength in solution and located inside a LNP.


Langmuir–Stern equation

Poisson–Boltzmann equation

Ionizable lipids

Charge distribution



Vladimir Zhdanov

Chalmers, Physics

Russian Academy of Sciences

European Biophysics Journal

0175-7571 (ISSN) 1432-1017 (eISSN)

Vol. In Press

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry

Water Engineering






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